Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

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The Assessment Picture Becomes More Complete.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | February 21, 2012

No. 813

Yesterday, the South Hills 2013 assessment values were posted on the County’s website.  The Eastern suburbs were posted earlier.  With the majority of the County up, the big picture is starting to become clearer.

Check out your assessment at this link.

Take the new value and divide it by the old value.  If you come up with a number like 1.17 (with a bunch of digits)or less, you are in line with the median of the increase in prices paid for properties between the last assessment in 2002 and the last year for which stats were compiled, 2010.  That is the equivalent of a 17% increase.  When the new stats are announced by the State on July 1, it will probably raise the 2011 common level ratio to around 20%.

If your ratios above that, you will have to decide whether you should appeal.  The County says that it is giving preference to appeals of properties showing a 45% increase, since those will probably result in a tax increase. That is a rather safe bet.  However, since the majority of your tax is school and local, not county, the overall percentage of increase in your community ought to play a role.  But bear in mind that many of the larger increases will probably be reduced, resulting in a lower aggregate increase.

The appeal deadline is April 2.  Get an appeal form and if possible, file it in person in the County Office Building (corner of Forbes and Ross Street, on block East of Grant Street) on the third floor.  Be sure to take away a clocked-in copy and keep it, so that you can prove you appealed if yours is lost in the shuffle.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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